Overview

Many laws exist to help minors (under age 18) at work.  These laws:

  • Keep kids in safe jobs;
  • Ensure that kids are not overworked;
  • Prohibit discrimination;
  • Provide for decent pay.

Some rules apply to all minors.  Other, more restrictive, rules apply to people who are under the age of 15 (see below).

*This article does not cover the topics of taxes or work permits.*

Rules for Everyone Under 18

Minors are completely forbidden from working in certain dangerous jobs.  However, there may be an exception that would allow a minor to work in an otherwise prohibited job.

A minor cannot work at (or near) the following jobs:

  • Blast furnaces
  • Docks or wharves (other than marinas where pleasure boats are sold or served)
  • As a pilot, fireman, or engineer on any vessel or boat engaged in commerce
  • Railroads
  • Erection and repair of electrical wires
  • Distilleries where alcoholic beverages are manufactured, bottled, wrapped, or packed
  • The manufacturing of a hazardous substance (such as dangerous or toxic chemicals or compounds)
  • Cleaning, oiling, or wiping of machinery
  • Any occupation forbidden by any local, state or federal law
  • Any occupation which after investigation by the Commissioner is deemed injurious to the health and welfare of the minor.

Read the Law: MD Code Lab. & Emp. § 3-213

Fire & Rescue Volunteer Exception - Minors may work as unpaid volunteers in a fire station or rescue squad if they are:

  • at least 16 years old, and
  • taking (or have completed) a course about firefighting or rescue work.

Read the Law: MD Code Lab. & Emp. § 3-203

Entertainer Exception - If a minor gets a special work permit, he or she can work at any age as a model, performer, or entertainer.  The application and permits are available only at the Baltimore Office of the Maryland Department of Labor.

Read the Law: MD Code Lab. & Emp. § 3-207

Time Restrictions

  • Minors cannot work for more than 5 consecutive hours without a nonworking period of at least one-half hour.
  • Usually, the total school and work hours of a minor cannot be more than 12 hours.
  • Minors must have at least 8 consecutive hours that are not school or work hours.

Read the Law: MD Code Lab. & Emp. § 3-203

Other Restrictions

Money Handling Restrictions - Minors are not allowed to be employed to carry to or from a business, money (in any amount) between 8:00 at night and 8:00 in the morning. In addition minors cannot carry to or from a business, more than $100 during the day (8:00am-8:00pm). These rules do not apply if the minor:
  • is a child of the manager, operator, or owner of the business, or
  • is carrying money that the minor received for doing their job.

Read the Law: MD Code Lab. & Emp. § 3-212

Age 14 or 15

In addition to the jobs prohibited above, a minor that is fourteen or fifteen years old cannot work in the following jobs:

  • about or in connection with an acid, dye, gas, lye, or paint
  • at, about, or in connection with:
    • an airport
    • a brickyard
    • a lumberyard
    • a workroom or work site where goods are manufactured or processed
    • scaffolding
    • a vessel when engaged in navigation or commerce; or
  • in, about, or in connection with:
    • construction
    • an occupation that causes dust in an injurious quantity
    • a manufacturing occupation
    • a mechanical occupation
    • a processing occupation
    • the adjustment, cleaning, or operation of power-driven machinery except unless it is an office machine or machinery used in a school
  • any occupation "deemed injurious by the Commissioner after investigation

Read the Law: MD Code Lab. & Emp. § 3-213

Time Restrictions

Fourteen and fifteen year olds cannot work:

  • before 7:00 a.m.
  • from the day after Labor Day through the day before Memorial Day, after 8:00 p.m.;
  • from Memorial Day through Labor Day, after 9:00 p.m.; or
  • more than:
    • 4 hours on a day when school is in session;
    • 8 hours on a day when school is not in session;
    • 23 hours in a week when school is in session for 5 days; or
    • 40 hours in a week when school is not in session.

Read the Law: MD Code Lab. & Emp. § 3-211

Under the Age of 14

Maryland law prohibits children under the age of 14 from working. 

There are some exceptions.

A child under the age of fourteen may perform the following types of work, if the work is performed outside of school hours:

  • Farm work performed on a farm.
  • Domestic work performed in or about a home.
  • Working in a business owned or operated by your parent or guardian.
  • Working as an unpaid volunteer, in a charitable or non-profit organization, employed with the written consent of a parent or guardian.
  • Caddying on a golf course.
  • Teaching on an instructional sailboat.
  • Manufacturing evergreen wreaths in or near a home.
  • Delivering newspapers to the consumer.
  • Working as a counselor, assistant counselor, or instructor in a youth camp certified under the Maryland Youth Camp Act.

Read the Law: MD Code Lab. & Emp. § 3-203; MD Code Lab. & Emp. § 3-209

 

Source: 

Updated by www.peoples-law.org/contributors

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